How to Convey an Easement to MHT

Potter Hall in Caroline County Potter Hall in Caroline County.

An "easement" is broadly defined as a non-possessory interest in the real property of another, and arises through express grant or implication. Easements are recorded in the land records and "run with the land," binding all subsequent owners to the stipulations of the easement, for the length of the easement.

The Maryland Historical Trust acquires easements in a variety of ways, including donation, as mitigation for transferring a historic property out of State or Federally ownership, or as a method of protecting the State's investment in historic properties that receive capital grants, bond bills, or loans. MHT accepts both perpetual and term easements, depending on the source of the easement.

Please note that the Office of the Attorney General will prepare the easement document. Be advised that there may be a fee associated with procuring the materials noted above from an attorney or surveyor. As Grantee, the Maryland Historical Trust cannot incur any associated costs and can only accept the exchange of property as a gift.

Scope of Easement

The easement must be in form and substance acceptable to the Director of the Trust. The easement coverage will be on the land or such portion of the land acceptable to the MHT, and on the exterior and interior of the historic structure(s), where appropriate.

Donation versus Conveyance

The process for the donation or conveyance of an easement is similar. The biggest difference is that a donation is not required and is possibly eligible for a charitable tax deduction. A conveyance may be a requirement of receiving funding and is therefore extracted (not donated) and as such may be ineligible for charitable deductions.

"Gift Easements"

The Maryland Historical Trust will consider the acceptance of an easement provided the property, building, or structure is individually listed or eligible for individual listing in the National Register of Historic Places. A donation will require that the owner submit to the MHT a letter expressing their desire to donate an easement. Owners are responsible for providing enough information to meet the MHT's requirements for acceptance of an easement. Please note this may include a Determination of Eligibility.

Click on these links for more information on IRS requirements or listing on the National Register.

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